MEET AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS
Every once in a while, a band comes along and reminds you why you love all the things you love. They remind you of how you used to be, how you are, and how you want to be. A band like @amylandthesniffers do a pretty good job of beating the debauchery back in you.⠀
Tempering an unholy combination of playfully turbulent Punk with an über-chill Aussie sensibility, their first international outing has been well received by the people and press alike. Amyl is Amy, and the Sniffers are Dec, Gus and Bryce. Embodying a guise that is part 70’s high school yearbook, part Russ Meyer erotica- there’s something intrinsically romantic about them. Romantically Punk that is… the kind that is drunk, drenched in beer, wearing bleached denim and dirty Go-go Boots.⠀
Since releasing their first EP in 2016, they have reaped a steady reputation at home- going from uni roommates to outrageous Sharpie-Punk heroes who recorded said debut release in one 12 hour sitting. From that huff of impulse, grew Giddy Up- each song a short burst of utterly ferociously facetious discord. The same followed on 2017’s Big Attraction EP- featuring no-shame singles about blowjobs and getting pissed in the kitchen. And what’s not to like about that?⠀
Still though, the real kicker lies purely in the recognition that they are f****** authentic. Bona fide badasses. In a way that they don’t recognise themselves, because it’s just the way they are. Everything from the mullets to the lyrics… it’s all inherently natural. A rarity in this day and age, and partly why their appeal is so infectious. Pearls of Pub Rock.⠀And it isn’t long before the word of their frenzied live shows spread globally and soon secured support slots for arena dates of the Foo Fighters, Cherie Curie, and King Gizzard. On stage, Amy channels every one of your female icons- Dolly, Debbie, Brody, Courtney, Kathleen, Cherie. It’s difficult to peel your eyes away from her whilst she prowls the stage like a boxing ring: spitting, swinging, punching and pouting. Meanwhile, Dec and Gus take you straight to your favourite AC/DC video: impressively picking up pints with their mouths and rocking in perfect 70’s formation. Live, Amyl and the Sniffers really capture what they are all about- nothing is sacrificed for the sake of putting on a sick show.
We were fortunate to catch up with them during their brief but first stint in the UK before their show at The Lexington. Having just played the Great Escape, the following day saw them head out on the sell-out King Gizzard tour. As an update, for anyone who missed them that time, you’ll be pleased to hear they will be back in September.
L: So – first question is: How has it been in the UK so far?
Amy: It’s pretty crazy the first couple of days; it was a bit weird at first with jet lag and stuff just sort of thinking where the fuck am I? It just felt like a really big night where you stay up all night long and it gets to like midday and you think ‘I’m really tired’.
But it’s been fucking sick just seeing everything and people actually coming to our gigs.
Dec: Everyone’s been really nice to us – which is good.
L: Have the crowds been rowdy?
Bryce: Well yeah! Last night was our first actual gig by ourselves, well we did the Rough Trade gig a few hours before as well. We have been doing showcases in Brighton called The Great Escape, so it was a bit tamer.
Amy: It was one of the gigs on at midday it was pretty crazy for a midday show, there was just a lot of people chilling, it was fucking sick still.
L: Did you get to see any other bands play?
Amy: We only saw two Aussie bands actually. We saw Hockey Dad ‘cos they are mates of ours and RVG because they’re good– it was pretty chilled to be honest.
L: What do you think of Brighton then?
Bryce: I liked it.
Dec: I liked it too. It reminds me of St Kilda, where we used to live, in Melbourne – so that was cool. I didn’t know what to expect when I was going in. But, I was pretty much overwhelmed with how young the population was and stuff. And it was cool. It was so busy as well.
Amy: We came at good time. It was Fringe, Ladyboys of Bangkok and Great Escape… it’s a proper festival town.
L: What are the biggest stand-out moments you have had in the short time you have been here?
Amy: It’s hard to remember, it’s gone really quick.
Dec: Cheap beer. It’s nice that five pounds is eight Australian bucks – and usually you have to pay like ten to twelve bucks for a pint. So that’s a pretty dumb fucking thing to say, isn’t it?
Amy: My favourite thing ever is seeing the Air BNB’s and the hotels when you are opening the door thinking ‘what the fuck is it going to look like?’ And then you see and its sick.
L: You guys already have an amazing CV in terms of the gigs and who you’ve support. What was it like with the Foo Fighters?
Amy: It was fucking interesting; there was a huge stage where it was like 39 degrees. It was fucking beaming hot, and they had an amazing catering thing there and a famous boxer, Danny Green. Yeah it was cool.
Dec: Yeah it was just our first and only time playing in a stadium and we had to get used to the sound as well. I don’t know looking back I think ‘why the hell did we do that?’ Because it was more for that than what we were getting pay wise, so it was just something to say we have done it.
L: Does it make you appreciate the small shows?
Amy: Fuck yeah!
Amy: I think we went from that big stadium, then back to Melbourne and the next day we did a gig to like 80 people and we just wanted to do a really small gig because we hadn’t done that in ages, so we did that stadium then with 80 people and I was like this is fucking awesome.
L: It seems a lot of bands in Australia are doing really well why do you think that is?
Amy: Well cos we just see them as an Aussie band we can go see at the club or something like that. Whereas over here maybe you don’t see them before they are on their tour. You don’t see them here playing at their local pub.
Bryce: I suppose it’s like a novelty as well for like people from other places it’s like people from Australia.
Dec: Plus going to gigs in Australia is a huge part of our culture. For us for example I might go to a night club and might go to a gig that’s like every night there’s thousands of people who are going to gigs.
Amy: I feel that might be similar here though, probably?
Dec: I just think once you are going through all that to graduate out of Australia you have to be (this is gonna sound like we are up our own ass) but good. To gradate the school of Australian live music you have to be exciting so that’s maybe why people like it.
Amy: I think it’s probably a lot of shit ones come through too. I think just because the same with every other city in the world, that Melbourne in particular has really supported live music and everyone is just like all the bands get around so the better you have to be. Just like any other fucking music city.
L: Whenever I hear a really good new song and ask someone where it’s from its usually Australia, recently I think that’s the kind of feel from England at the minute. But now that you are travelling, what do you miss from home?
Amy: I don’t really miss anything.
Bryce: My girlfriend.
Dec: I don’t know what I miss, it’s hard going to the pub and you get so many accents I struggle to understand what other people are saying, even just British accents and stuff, that’s really hard. I miss having a good yarn with other Australians. But apart from that I am having a great time.
Amy: I think I miss– well I don’t see many other girls now, so you are the first girl I have talked to in ages.
Amy: Yeah but I have enough of it waiting back there for me, so yeah.
L: Do you think you’re gonna go out more now then?
Amy: Yeah, I would love to I think it’s fun. I love looking round the Air BNBs
L: Are there any countries you really want to go to?
Dec: I would really like to go to Germany because since the early days we have had a lot of interest from Germany. That’s the country that doesn’t speak English that’s had the most interest in us so that would be cool to experience their culture a bit if they like us it would be interesting to see them.
L: So you read a lot about how your first EP was done overnight. How is it planning and getting ahead of things when spontaneity is key?
Amy: I really like the business side of things and the boys are really good musicians so that works like that. We have a pretty good team around us now that has slowly grown of good people who we get along really well with who wanna help us.
Bryce: We have kind of had to force to be better and organise planning we have to have quite a good team helping us out.
Amy: I guess with us usually something fun and sick will happen and we kind of work to reach that, so we get an offer on something and we have to work hard to reach that level.
L: What have you changed your mind about in the past few years since being a band?
Amy: I am probably meaner now. I care about less now.
Dec: Gee. I definitely have changed but I don’t know what I have changed my mind about.
Bryce: It kind of changes your perspective. It changes your perspective on going to gigs– that you’re not playing. That feels different for me!
Dec: Yeah like now well first before I was in bands I used to like going out and moshing and stuff and probably not even caring if bands don’t hit the right notes but now I find myself standing at the back of the room judging them and seeing what I like about the set and what I don’t like, and how I can improve my own sets. I just become a snob!
L: Have you experienced any ghost or alien encounters?
Dec: Shit man.
Amy: Ghostly or alien?
Well I was in Alice Springs, Northern Territory which is in the red centre of Australia recently and there is this place called Pine Gap which is an American Army base in the middle of the desert. Which they reckon is to spy on Russia or something. But there is this huge theory that they are actually there to spy on aliens. This is because apparently that particular area has the most alien sightings in ages, or something. There are all these old indigenous paintings of the same green light or some kind of ship. Lots of people have said they have seen this green light as well. Which is like a reoccurring thing.
I was in a club and we were talking about Alice Springs, and about Pine Gap. Apparently, there was this thing where you aren’t allowed into Pine Gap unless you work there, and you aren’t allowed to talk about it. If you are working there you say you are an electrician.
And so, this guy comes and sits down on the table and we started talking and we asked him what he does, and he said:
“I am an electrician”.
We asked if he had been to Pine Gap and he said, “Yes I have”.
We asked what it was like and he said, “I cannot tell you”.
[All] : No!
Amy: And then this group of about eight kids with caps on came and sat with us and they were so fucking weird and they all moseyed in.
Dec: My dad he’s big on all that UFO shit. He is totally a normal person, but he has heaps of UFO stories. He is not crazy or anything wearing tin foil on his head, but he sees UFOs.
Amy: Do you?
L: I have ghost stories, my mum used to be really into that stuff. When we were younger, my sister and me used to be really scared of this step in our hallway, and we would always jump over it. We didn’t like to stand there. And randomly my mum got all these hippy women to come with sage and burn it in the whole house. They ending up staying on that step for like an hour and they said there was a spirit in that corner.
Amy: Woah, I get the heebie-jeebies with that shit.
Dec: Actually, that just reminded me. When I was a really young kid -don’t judge me on this anyone I swear, please don’t- but I was lying in bed and I would see ghosts walking along at the end of my bed. Just would appear out of nowhere through my door, pass my bed and out into the wall. I told my mum and shit, but I never took it seriously. But I saw it. I am not kidding it could just by my wild kid imagination. Oh yeah. I used to see that shit when I was seven and under.
L: That’s a good one, I like that!
So you guys are definitely re-championing the mullets. Can I ask what your favourite mullets over history?
Amy: Cherrie Currie has got a banging one! Well she did when she was young.
L: It’s a shame she doesn’t have one now isn’t it?
Amy: Yeah. Actually, we played a gig with her once.
L: How was that?
Amy: It was interesting, I got kicked out– almost.
L: No way! She’s not the same at all then, anymore?
Amy: She’s still tough as nails but you know she is an older lady, she is seasoned, she has done it all before and she doesn’t wanna put up with shit.
I think Cherrie is cool and when we first played with her I was new into music, so I was like ‘get pissed!’ and now I am think, true you are touring hard, you don’t wanna be partying every night. I respect it now.
Dec: I like Tony Locket he is an AFL player – he’s got a good one.
L: I will have to Google all these later.
Amy: You don’t know what AFL is?
Dec: It’s like a type of football that we play in Australia. It’s the biggest sport we play in Australia it’s like the red ball and it’s not round its oval shape.
L: Like American football?
Bryce : Yeah except it’s not pointy.
Amy: It’s kind of close to rugby you kick the balls through the goals.
Dec: Have you ever watched Gaelic football?
L: Yes, I used to love it.
Dec: It’s derived from that. I love Colour Balls they are a band from the early seventies and they have the best mullets.
Amy: Yeah hands down they have the best mullet’s.
L: Is there a band, that as a band that you collectively love?
Amy: Present, dead or like half dead? Or whatever?
L: Whatever you all like?
Amy: Cosmic Psychos?
Dec: Yeah, they are a three-piece band and real, 70s early 80s and they play really Australian punk music they’re still playing, and we toured with them. They are like mentors for us.
L: You see them as an influence, on the way you write and stuff?
Dec: Yeah definitely an influence on the music and the sound and stage presence.
Amy: They gave us good advice for touring and Ross Knight the lead singer told us we have gotta take vitamins, so damn straight I always have a bottle of vitamins in my bag.
L: Is there a band you disagree? One that some of you like and some of you dislike?
Amy: I love Hilltop Hoods, but I don’t think the boys do.
Dec: I like that one song.
Amy: Mickey Avalon. I fucking love Mickey Avalon.
Bryce: I hate Mickey Avalon!
Dec: Bryce gets heaps into really sad music and I don’t get it. I am out of here. I like ACDC and I am sure I play it too much.
Amy: We all like ACDC. Declan likes The Smiths!
Dec: I like The Smiths and no one else likes them. I don’t give a fuck, and I don’t care. Really? I don’t give a fuck that’s why I listen to The Smiths.
L: Last one. What’s next for Amyl and the Sniffers?
Amy: We fly to America tomorrow, and then we have got some songs we will put out soon.
Dec: We are working on an album.
Amy: Our first album!
Dec: Will be releasing some songs around July or August and we will do an Australian tour around that when the album will come.
Amy: Then world domination, I suppose?
L: So, you are gonna come back then?
Dec: We are thinking of coming back in September, but it’s not confirmed.
Amy: Yeah just literally just a conversation.
Dec: Yeah just a conversation otherwise we will be back this time next year.
L: Yeah that’s a good time to be back. Do you guys have anything else you wanna plug?
Dec: Just graveyard creepers!
Amy: We love graveyard creepers.
AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS WILL BE BACK IN LONDON ON 25TH SEPTEMBER 18 @ THE MOTH CLUB